There are quite a few species of weeds that have the same general appearance, with spears of tiny flowers and often mealy foliage. These are members of the goosefoot family, the two main genera being goosefoots (Chenopodium) and oraches (Atriplex). The oraches can normally be separated from the goosefoots in having separate male and female flowers on the same plant and by having their fruits enclosed in two triangular bracts. Spear-leaved orache has, as its name indicates, spear shaped leaves which are more triangle in shape than other members of the genus.
NB Spear-leaved orache is also known as Hastate orache and may be given the botanical name Atriplex hastata in older books.
Spear-leaved orache is an erect or prostrate summer annual found on a range of moist, open and un-shaded sites. Its natural range is probably coastal where it can be found on the upper reaches of salt marshes and on sand and shingle beaches. It is now found inland on a range of man-made habitats including demolition sites, coal-mines, cultivated land, tips and waste ground. It is also found along salt-treated roadsides.
Easily grown from seed sown at any time of the year